Healthcare in America

Article 25 from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that:
Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.

Today the U.S. government took a step in the right direction toward ensuring that everyone gets proper medical care, regardless of whether or not they can afford the insurance. Coming from the U.K. I know both the benefits and the problems inherent in a state funded healthcare system, but when there are scenes like the one below being played out in a country that likes to think of itself as a model for the rest of the world, then you have to wonder about the wisdom of the current system.

Photograph: Dermot Tatlow/Panos Pictures

The Caption reads: The Remote Area Medical (RAM) dental area handles 30 patients at a time. All dentists and dental assistants are volunteers. Over the weekend at Soft Shell, Knott County, in the Appalachian mountains of eastern Kentucky, the congressional district with the nation's lowest life expectancy, RAM volunteers saw 822 needy people. 95 percent of people seen were provided with dental or optical care. RAM was founded in 1985 to provide free health, dental and eye care in the developing world. However, RAM now provides 60 percent of its services in the US, providing for the estimated 47 million Americans without health insurance.

See the whole of Dermot Tatlow's series America's Sick Heartland here.

So well done to the Obama administration on their work toward overhauling healthcare in the U.S. (as flawed as that overhaul will be). I'm just amazed that there is any opposition at all to the idea of providing universal, high quality healthcare for everyone. Surely that is an essential right that should be afforded to every living thing? Oh wait a minute. I momentarily forgot we live in a greed ridden self serving capitalist society. Oops.

1 comment:

Ciara said...

and yet again it's so-called 'christians' leading the charge. I really can't understand how anyone can argue with the principle of universal access to healthcare. sickening.